You may be wondering how feasible it is for a home that is currently hooked up to the power lines to go off grid. In many ways, it's probably easier than you think. However, there are a few items we should look at more closely. In this article, I'll walk you through the basics of what you need to know and what to look out for. And at the end, I'll give you a great resource for further information.
All it takes is one power outage during the winter to convince most people that they need a source of heat that doesn't require electricity. The obvious solution is a wood stove. It's the only method of heating I'm aware of that is reliable, doesn't depend on the weather (i.e. solar heating), and can be completely renewable by growing your own fuel (trees) on your property.
If you have been reading this website for some time, you are most likely aware of EMPs (electromagnetic pulse). They have a far reaching implications on any modern nation, such as impacting the power grid among many other things. For those of you who are not familiar with this, click here for an educational press conference on the topic that aired on C-SPAN, featuring US Rep. Roscoe Bartlett.
In the next two articles I will be focusing on the use of a forklift battery in off-grid renewable energy systems. However, much of the information also applies to other deep cycle batteries that are commonly used off the grid. For more information about using a forklift battery, see our blog post "The best kept secret in renewable energy."
We use a modern wood cook stove to heat our home, cook & bake our food, and heat our water (Learn how we heat our water: Hot Water for FREE). Can't imagine how we lived without it. But then summer arrives...What then? One could always cook with a propane or solar oven, but what about hot water? This is an issue we just faced this last summer. In this article we will look at the different options that are available. We finally found and tested an inexpensive solution. It requires very little additional work to install and functions well during the times we need it most.
Please note: The following article was written a little while ago by Ralph Lewis, a principle at Power Research Inc. We have personally used their products for fuel storage with excellent success for over 15 years (in one case successfully storing gasoline for 6 years). We thought you might be interested in some details about fuel storage he reveals here, reprinted with permission of Power Research Inc. While we have carried PRI's products at events, we do not currently sell them online. We just want to share this information with you.
This is a tank that has a bladder type diaphragm inside which is used to keep pressure in your water system. As water is pumped into the tank, the diaphragm is pushed further up with greater and greater tension. After your pressure pump shuts off, the diaphragm keeps your water system pressurized.